Haim, “Women in Music Pt. III”
The Haim sisters — Este, Alana and Daniell — know how to sift through the silt of their musical forebears (Joni Mitchell, Fleetwood Mac, Sheryl Crow) and find the sparkling gold. That sensibility is especially evident on “I’ve Been Down” and “Gasoline,” a delightfully anachronistic summer-afternoon song. Because of their penchant for lyrics that aren’t recognizably contemporary, Haim can sound like a composite of all the bands that they like.
Haim knows how to take something that’s faded, maybe even forgotten, and then give it a new shine. Time will tell if they can do it more consistently.
Jesse Bernstein, Philadelphia Inquirer
Kanye West, “Wash Us in the Blood” (Def Jam)
On Tuesday, characteristically complicated West released a new song, accompanied by a music video that features images of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor as well as video from the nationwide protests their deaths have helped inspire. The clip also offers fleeting pictures of imprisoned people, a drone, a woman struggling to breathe and West’s daughter North at a rehearsal by his Sunday Service choir.
The song recalls the harsh industrial sound of West’s 2013 album “Yeezus.”
West, who explored his religious awakening on a pair of albums last year, continues in the new single to direct his thoughts toward God, asking to be washed in his blood. But he’s pondering more earthly matters, too: “Whole life being thugs / No choice, selling drugs,” he raps, “Genocide, what it does / Mass incarc, what it does.”
Near the end of “Wash Us in the Blood,” West complains of an unspecified “they” trying to calm him down and evokes President Donald Trump (of whom he’s been a famous supporter) with a lyric about his distrust of the media.
“You know that it’s fake if it’s in the news,” he raps, “So I let it fly when I’m in the booth.”
This song is the first single from West’s upcoming album, “God’s Country.”
Mikael Wood, Los Angeles Times
• Willie Nelson, “First Rose of Spring”
• Paul Weller, “On Sunset”